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tv   Erin Burnett Out Front  CNN  November 12, 2012 8:00pm-9:00pm PST

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>> that's it for us, thanks for watching. erin burnett outfront starts right now. the scandal that brought down david petraeus, new details about how fbi investigators you stumbles on his affair. does the timing of his resignation just days before he was to receive about benghazi add up. plus, who is paula broadwell, the woman at the center of the scandal. how she became so close with petraeus, along with the warning signs that something may have been wrong. and an "outfront" investigation into complaints the red cross is not doing enough to help victims of sandy. are donations getting to the people who need them?
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let's go "outfront." good evening, everyone. i'm erin burnett. "outfront" tonight, a risky affair. there are new questions about the affair that led cia director david petraeus to resign and when did he pose a national security threat. the affair came to light during an investigation of so-called jealous e-mails sent by paula broadwell to this woman in tampa. her name is jill kelley. tonight a u.s. official confirms to cnn that petraeus told broadwell to stop sending harassing e-mails to kelley. who is kelley? along with her husband, she's known petraeus and his family for more than five years. that couple met the four star general when he was stationed at medil air force base in tampa. now, what about the e-mails? what's in them? here's what we can tell you tonight. a description of the e-mails
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seems to validate what a friend of petraeus tells us, that petraeus felt broadwell had shown a possessiveness toward him. as to whether she gained any information during her relationship to petraeus, here's something we found. here's what we found, a speech she gave in october of 006, while she was under investigation for those harassing e-mails that seems to add fuel to the fire. >> the cia an ex-had actually taken a couple libyan militia members prisoner, and they think the attack on the consulate was an attempt to get these prisoners back. that's still being vetted. >> still being vetted. and knowing about those prisoners being there in the first place, wasn't something you heard about on the news. how did she know? suzanne kelly is our intelligence correspondent and i know you've been reporting on this throughout the day. what are the concerns that broadwell had or has classified
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information? >> something like you just showed is a perfect example of the problem. you don't really know what her source is on something like that and what she said about the cia holding prisoners in benghazi and that prompted the attack there that led to the death of ambassador stevens, that's really a bombshell revelation right there. you have to wonder,she getting that information directly from petraeus or is it coming from somewhere else? that's the real nature of the problem is trying to figure out where information was coming from and that was one of the things that the fbi focused on early on in their information. did she have classified information that she shun the have had? and was it inappropriate? they ultimately found she did not have information that would have warranted any legal action. >> and when paula -- you know her and you spoke with her, she told you she was writing another book about david petraeus. and what she was known for is the one book she wrote, and co
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authored by david petraeus. what did you think when you spoke to her? >> well, we spoke at the security forum on the summer and she's very open about talking about her relationship with general petraeus in terms of the access that she had. the first book she had written and she was very much looking forward to writing a second book, which would be a larger story about general petraeus' legacy. and we know from people who have worked closely with him in the past, that his legacy was something very important to him. >> and what do you know do you know about david petraeus' relationship with jill kelley, the other woman here, the woman, who in a sense, i guess, started all of this, because of what had been called harassing e-mails sent by paula broadwell to jill kelley. >> a really interesting twist. the nature of that relationship appears to be a family friend. a government source says that kelley has been known to be on the washington social circuit. it's possible they had socialized here, but source say friends are describing her as feeling like she's an innocent victim in this and that a friend
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of petraeus' who spoke with him throughout the weekend and also today, erin, says that the general, the retired general has assisted to his friends that he only had one affair. only one other woman. >> the big question tonight, who knew what, and when did they know it about the petraeus affair? and does the timing of his resignation add up? here's what we can tell you tonight, in the early summer the fbi began an investigation. by the late summer, high level officials at the fbi and the justice department were notified. that investigators uncovered what appeared to be an affair between petraeus and broadwell. now, according to the "wall street journal," eric holder is among those who were informed. now, between october 21st and november 3rd, the fbi agented interviewed broadwell and petraeus.
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then on october 31st, eric cantor's office was notified. he passed on the concerns to robert mueller. now, on november 2nd, the fbi said there's tho evidence petraeus committed a crime and they rule out charges, then it is election day when james clapper is first informed of the investigation. at 5:00 p.m. he called petraeus and advised him to resign. it wasn't until after the election the president was notified that the chief of the country's spy agency was under investigation and had been since the beginning of the summer. on friday, the president accepted petraeus' resignation. house and senate leaders were informed at that time. bob barrows also joins us and bob, let me ask you about this fbi investigation. it began in the early summer. the president was only informed after the election. his director of national intelligence informed at 5:00 on election day. congressional leaders were informed even after the resignation. defense secretary leon panetta
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was asked today whether capitol hill should have been notified sooner and said, i want to quote, that's another issue we ought to look at because as former director of the cia and having worked closely with the intelligence committees, you know, i believe there is a responsibility to make sure they're informed. did they handle this correctly? >> no. somebody dropped the ball. you never blind side the president. when a senior official in his administration under investigation when e-mails are being read, you inform the white house at a very high level. national security adviser. his council. even the president himself. you always do that. it's a standing protocol inside the federal government. never blindside the president. as far as i've seen, this president was blindsided. >> do you think part of it had to do with the fact it was petraeus who was involved given the, his reputation and how many people looked up to him, admired him, the cult of petraeus as it's been called?
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>> it was that, but the fbi hates these sort of things. they don't like to look into affairs. they like to deal in crimes that they can define and in this case, there wasn't a crime. suzanne was absolutely right. when they first saw this, they said, oh, my, stuff is getting leaked out. this woman is out there talking, quoting petraeus in denver, saying if you look at the rest of the transcript, it says david petraeus can't go to the press, but -- so they were probably very worried, so they went ahead with with it, but did not inform the white house as it's been reported, which is a huge mistake. >> suzanne, it sounds like when we're talking about what happened in denver, when paula broadwell was referring to libyans being held in libya for the benghazi attacks, it's possible, right, that she may have had classified information still, we don't know? >> right, i should also note to
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you that an intelligence official told us today, just adamant about that being false information. it would be a really big deal because the cia is not really allowed to detain people people. they lost that privilege in 2009, so to say that the cia is holding three people prisoner is huge. it's not like you're just going out there and saying the general likes to run every day. i mean, these are really potentially explosive things. >> bob, what about -- go ahead. >> i'd like to add, we have to parse this. the cia, yes, it does not hold prisoners. but that compound in benghazi was more than the cia. there were several contracting groups. the pentagon. there was a military unit in the area at the time. it was not delta forces as reported. but there was a military unit. i've been assured they did not hold prisoners. maybe the libyans picked him up and accuses people at the consulate of taking -- we just don't have the details. >> are we not going to get answers on the invest because of
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this? some want him to, but -- >> you know, why would the cia have a fire base in benghazi, libya? why was it not better protected? why did we not know that whole base was ringed by al-qaeda related militias and why did this investigation start in the first place because a harassment complaint to the fbi just never goes any way unless it's comarried with another piece of information and we don't have what that other piece of information is, because it's sensitive. and that's why we're asking so many questions. >> and we're going to keep asking them until we get answers and bob, thank you very much for taking the time and suzanne as well. still to come, more on the scandal. just who is paula broadwell. that goes to the heart of the question, what she knew and how it matters. and how did she get so close to the director of the cia? plus, an "outfront" investigation into the red cross response to sandy. are the millions of dollars donated to the charity, the ones every time you see online,
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you sydow nature to the red cross? are they getting to victims of the storm? and how will the president and congress avoid the fiscal cliff? erskine bowles comes outfront swinging next. don't want to pay more than you have to. only citi price rewind automatically searches for the lowest price. and if it finds one, you get refunded the difference. just use your citi card and register your purchase online. have a super sparkly day! ok. [ male announcer ] now all you need is a magic carriage. citi price rewind. buy now. save later.
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our second story outfront, 50 days until we fall off the fiscal cliff, unless washington acts. both parties claim to be optimistic about a deal to avert the end of the year combination of an end of the year increase in tax rates and slash in spending.
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how exactly, now, we know there are a lot of meetings scheduled. tomorrow, with the labor community. wednesday, the business community and friday, there's a meeting with harry reid, mitch mcconnell, house speaker john boehner and minority leader nancy pelosi. so, will we get a deal? one man getting a lot of attention is erskine bowles. who along with alan simpson created the simpson-bowles plan on deficit reduction. i have to start by asking you, did you ever think your name would be part of pop culture? you are the bowles in simpson bowles. >> better be simpson bowles than bowles simpson since everybody knows him by his initials here in washington. >> so, when you talk about things, sacred cows, untouchables, whatever the word might be, in your proposal, the one paul ryan decided not to back, the one barack obama decided not to back, you had an increase in the federal gasoline tax. caps on mortgage interest. charitable donations and
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retirement contributions. these were all tough choices you made. you also increased the eligibility age for medicare and social security. reduced benefits for wealthier seniors. some of those things i've heard democrats and republicans say they agree on, others they loathe them. is there anything that should be untouchable? >> the problems are real, no easy way out. we've got to come up with at least $4 trillion of deficit reduction and that's not the maximum amount we need to do is not even the ideal amount. it's the minimum amount we need to reduce the deficit in order to stabilize the debt and get it on the path to stabilizing the gdp. >> it's interesting you say it that way. it's not the maximum, barely the minimum. bill gross from pimco says 16 trillion, which is not to be negative, but just to say people who think your plan is tough, it's getting us started on this path. it's not solving everything.
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>> absolutely. he's 100% right. i'd be a lot happier with 5 or 6 trillion because i think that's what we need in order to solve this problem long-term. >> why do you think we can get this done now when for ten years, it's been failure. >> erin, i think this is truly the magic moment. we've got a second term democratic president who is willing to put entitlements on the table. we've got a republican speaker who really gets it, who understands the dangers we face and is willing to put revenue on the table. we've probably got as many as 50 members in the senate, equal number republicans and democrats who are for a ballots plan, but most importantly, what we have, we have this fiscal cliff, this crisis, which will really create chaos if we go the fiscal cliff and don't get a deal there after. i'm really worried about that. >> that brings me to something paul krugman wrote.
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the title is let's not make a deal. what the comment was, nothing very bad will happen to the economy if an agreement isn't reached until a few weeks or months into 2013. so there's time to bargain. the stalemate would hurt republican backers every much as it hurt the rest of the country. as the risk of severe damage grew, republicans would face intense pressure to cut a deal after all. a few months into next year? >> i think that's crazy. you know, why would you bet the country, really put bet the country but going over this fiscal cliff? if we go over this cliff, you'll see another 2 million people lose their jobs. you'll see the unemployment rate go up to, let's say, 9%, and you'll see the rate of growth slowed anywhere from 3 to 4%, which is enough to put us back into recession. we could go over the cliff and immediately get a deal, that would be okay. but if we go over the cliff and
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don't get a deal right away, i think you're going to create an enormous problem. >> now, on revenue, i know as part of plan, you assume bush tax rates would go up, loopholes would close, but is there room for compromise around how we define revenue? that if you were to close a lot of loopholes affecting the wealthy, but not increase the tax rates, would that be a deal you think could be struck or no? >> yes. i think it should be. what we should be concerned about is revenue and making sure revenue comes from the right sources. from people at the upper ends of the tax bracket and i think you can do that, even by raising rates or by broadening the base and simplifying the code and wiping oxford university these expenditures, particularly those that go to upper income individuals. >> and a final question to you, sir, tim indicter er geithner treasury secretary at the end of the year. your name has been floated ferociously and furiously.
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would you like that job? >> if they'll move the treasury to charlotte i would, otherwise, i think i'm going to stay at home. >> that's the thing, you would have to move your domicile? >> i'd have to leave charlotte and i don't want to leave charlotte. i've been married 42 years. lived in the same town as my wife for 22. i think it's time for me to stay home for a while. >> all right, well thank you very much. we appreciate it. >> thank you so much. good to talk to you. >> a man not afraid to mince words and say what he thinks. we need people like that. "outfront" next, the red cross receiving millions of dollars to help the victims of sandy. but is the relief getting to those who desperately need it? plus, how those around petraeus suspected something more than was going on. the warning signs coming up. tatn was about...i would say... two months ago. i very rarely put gas in my chevy volt. i go to the gas station such a small amount that i forget how to put gas in my car. [ male announcer ] and it's not just these owners giving the volt high praise. volt received the j.d. power and associates
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our third story "outfront" the red cross under attack. america's largest private relief organization is facing growing criticism in response to sandy 237 despite raising more than $100 million for the victims, many across the northeast are still reeling and asking why. we asked susan candiotti to take
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a look and follow the millions in destinations pouring in for sandy relief. >> reporter: as the storm cleanup began, the man in charge of the besieged borough of staten island said he'd had enough with the american red cross. >> all these people making these big salaries should be out there on the front lines. i am disappointed. my advice to the people of staten island, do not go to the red cross. >> his outrage lasted only one day. he backed off his criticism soon, telling cnn that all was just fine. >> it was killing me. i spoke out. i got angry. >> but his outburst it turns out wasn't the only assault on the red cross. a private charity that's considered the gold standard in american disaster relief. some old questions are being asked again, about what happens to all the money donated to the red cross by generous americans. >> at the end of the day, there is little oversight in this
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whole system. >> reporter: ben heads a watchdog group called the disaster accountability project. red cross salaries are very high, and their tax filings prove it. its ceo receives over $500,000 annually. and its top 11 executives get pay packages that begin at $275,000 a year. >> you've got an organization that's in fund-raising mode. they're run by their p.r. operation right now. they're putting on their best face, they don't want to invite scrutiny. >> teaming up with the american red cross. >> all those telethons on abc and nbc have helped raise nearly 120 million in donations for sandy relief. and corporate commitments already pledged will elevate that total to nearly a quarter of a billion dollars. money the red cross says will be spent on the ground. >> we understand that people get frustrated, we understand the criticisms.
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we know where they're coming from, but by and large what most people say to us is thank you. >> charity ratings organizations give the red cross high marks. on the ground, it's all about visibility. right here in the disaster zone, there are questions as well about the red cross and it effectiveness. are there enough volunteers. did they send out enough food trucks? where can you find them? how? we found mixed reviews. this woman says the red cross has been superb. >> they're out here every day, they're easy to find. you don't have to go looking and searching, you know they're here. >> for a church group organizer also helping victims, a different take. steve, as you drive around donating supplies, how much of a red cross presence have you seen? >> very little. i've been talking to a few and they're telling us they're trying to get as many people out, but they're stretched very thin. >> the red cross is a huge institution and the leaders say it will cost the organization $100 million by the time all the
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numbers are in. in its appeals for sandy, the red cross insists every penny goes directly to storm victims. yet on its website, the red cross says only donations will go toward storms like sandy. susan candiotti, cnn for "outfront." >> let us know what you think of susan's excellent reporting. today, i went out to the rockaways. one of the hardest hit areas. i'll show you what we saw there. plus at the center of the david petraeus scandal. who is paula broadwell? how did the two meet and how did she get so close t.o. director of the cia?
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we start the second half of our show with stories we care about, where we focus on our reporting from the front lines and we start with iran's english language press tv. they say the country is conducting a series of military drills. the report says 8,000 troops will be involved. a professor tells us these defense exercises tend to be exaggerated and rather rehearsed. he says it's more of an exercise in communication between the
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revolutionary guard and other units. the drills come after iran fired an unmanned drone this month. it's been nearly a week since americans went to the polls and hey, the world's strongest democracy, some race, we still don't know who won. for the house, 194 democrats and 234 republicans. five races we still say are too close to call. democrats have a narrow lead in all of them right now. one is for florida's 18th district where patrick murphy declared a victory over alan west. west has not conceded and is pursuing legal action. a couple of weeks ago, you may recall we told you about a company recalling all their products because they had concerns about the is a rility of the company's testing process. well, today we know what the fda found during those inspections. insects within ten feet of where sterile products were manufactured, walls that were cracked and a bird flying in a building where sterile products are stored. they were inspected because it's
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a sister company to the new england compounding center, that's the pharmacy whose steroid injections have been linked to the fungal meningitis outbreak that's killed 32 people. the international energy agency says the united states could pass saudi arabia to become the world's largest oil producer by 2020. that is pretty incredible. the agency says ten years after that, the united states could be an oil exporter. that means we export more than we're getting out of the ground. but yes, pigs are flying and here's the thing, right now, if you want to export u.s. crude oil, it's really hard to do. you have to cut through a lot of red tape. washington does not make it easy, no matter how lucrative it could be. we spoke to jamie webster. he says this will be an issue for the oil markets within the next 18 months. right now, you're already starting to see pressure from sellers who want to export to places like canning de. pressure will increase as we see
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light sweet crude inventories grow. all that money could help with this problem. it's been 466 days since the u.s. lost its top credit rating. what are we doing to get it back? exporting energy would help. so would a deal to keep us from falling over the fiscal cliff. erskine bowles told me earlier, this is truly the magic moment to make a deal. congress, let's get it done. and now, our fourth story "outfront." the woman behind the resignation of general david petraeus. tonight, there are growing questions about the 40-year-old biographer of general petraeus. cnn has learned the affair started two months after petraeus took over the cia, back in september of 2011 and ended about four months ago. "outfront" tonight, chris lawrence on who she is, the woman at the heart of this investigation. >> holly petraeus and broadwell were separated by just five seats at david petraeus' confirmation hearing to become cia director. the affair wouldn't begin for another couple of months, but the attraction was there. a long time friend of petraeus
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says years in the war zone had left him isolated. petraeus didn't have anyone on his level he could talk to candidly, so when paula broadwell came along, quote, he enjoyed her company. she was an attractive gal and they had things in common. but the friend tells cnn, after the affair destroyed petraeus' career, he reflected on the relationship. and he came to realize broadwell may have been obsessed, and perhaps felt she was warding off the competition, in sending e-mails to petraeus family friend jill kelley. >> i'm not in love with david petraeus. >> broadwell is a west point grad like petraeus. she's appeared often on cnn, including several times on this program discussing security issues. >> sure, it's probably a signal, erin, that we do have visibility on what's going on on the ground there. >> petraeus cultivated smart, competitive people around him. in high school, she was student
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council president and valedictorian. she would later compete in the ironman competition and earn a ph.d. from harvard. she went to afghanistan when he took over the war and some close petraeus staffers couldn't understand why she got such unprecedented access, but headquarters is a cramped cluster of compartments where petraeus had little to know privacy. officials say nothing inappropriate happened while he was still in uniform. sources tell us paula broadwell was here in washington celebrating her birthday with friends and family when all of this news broke wide open at the end of last week. in fact, one of the last postings on her twitter account is retweeting one of the rules of leadership by david petraeus. chris lawrence, cnn, the pentagon. >> and i want to bring in three reporters who have been looking into the relationship between paula broadwell and general david petraeus.
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fred kaplin, he slates war stories columnist and author of the upcoming book "the insurgents." spencer ackerman is senior writer for wired 37 and eli lake, senior national security reporter for newsweek and "the daily beast." i want to alert you, and spencer, "washington post" has just posted an op-ed by vernon lobe, who co-authored the book with broadwell. the first sentence, my wife says i'm the most coolest person in america. he says he had no idea about the affair even though he worked with her on this book for 16 months. what are you hearing now about when and how this started? >> i'm hearing a lot of what chris mentioned in the lead-in. a lot of people close to petraeus for a long time found it somewhat strange that paula broadwell got this amount of access, compared to her relatively thin journalistic
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resume. but none really thought, or were talking at the time, that it was an inappropriate relationship there. at the same time, when the announcement came that he was resigning, and getting to an inappropriate relationship, it seemed to ricochet across people in petraeus' circle that it was probably miss broadwell. >> he writes there was no protege more ardent than broadwell. he talks about himself. he had only one contact. she had all the contact. they had a lot in common. >> she had said they met while she was in grad school at harvard and petraeus came to give a talk and she approached him afterwards, showing great interest. wanting to talk with him more about the subject. you know, if paula broadwell had been the dowdiest young man you could have imagined, petraeus would have been interested in cultivating that person into a possible protogay. he was very much into mentoring. he came out of a tradition that social science department which cultivated relationships with
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with young men, positions for them to have, so it was not at all surprising that he found her attractive in that sense. initially. >> and what is your understanding as to when this started? it's very crucial for viewers who aren't aware, whether it was before or after he was at the cia. before, it's against the law in the military for him to have had an affair. at the cia, it would be different. so there are different legal ramifications as to when it started. >> that's true. that may be one reason why some of his friends are so adamant that it was after. i do know that there were a lot of people in kabul who were kind of disturbed at the kind of access that she was getting. and how she was traveling around with him a lot. going on early morning jogs with him a lot. being brought into meetings that, listen, petraeus got along with reporters. he liked cultivating reporters. >> he did with all of us. he made us all feel special by
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how quickly he would respond to e-mails. >> first, he liked them, i guess, but then he saw it as information operations. this was to get the message out. but she was being treated on a level a little bit different. >> and eli, what is your understanding as to the security risk? because that's the big question here about this fbi investigation and we were talking about how the university of denver, she was recently speaking about how there could have been libyans held prisoner in benghazi, related to the benghazi attacks. something nobody else had talked about, and if true, could have been classified and inappropriate and a violation. what's your understanding as to what she might have known? >> the cia denies that claim, but the rest of that speech, she does speak as if she is almost speaking for david petraeus. and at times, kind of acting as a government official would, confirming things that were in press reports, discussing sensitive details. at the end of her answer on benghazi, she says as a former
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military intelligence official, i'm saddened to see so many sources and methods discloses in that sense. so one thing that always happens when you're looking at an investigation postmortem after something like this, there is a process -- an audit if you will at the cia to determine whether any classified information was, i guess, inappropriately disclosed. if there were lots of conversations with paula broadwell, she may have had the clearances to hear that, but if she then shares that information with the public, then it would present a bunch of problems. >> that's a fair point. spencer, in terms of when this started, that crucial question, you write about an incident at a wedding? >> it seems that at a wedding of some prominent aides to petraeus, there was some concern i should say also former aide to petraeus and people sort of in that circle. there was some concern about the propriety of their relationship. there was some concern about
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some seeming closeness between the two of them. yet it's difficult to find people who thought this was in fact something more than what it appeared like. the close mentoring relationship that fred described and as eli is talking about, an absolutely crucial question going forward is what information even if she's acting like an unofficial conduit for petraeus, whom she mentions can't speak publicly as head of the cia, might have been passed to her. at what point do people involved in this investigation as we found have since gone to congress and been motivated with that concern. >> all right. well, thanks very much to all three of you. so many questions. and these are the three reporters answering them. "outfront" next, floodwaters take over venice. tonight, the majority of the italian city is under water. plus, today i spent the day in the rockaways, a neighborhood in queens where half the people live under poverty and have been
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it's the cleanest, clearest water. we find the best, sweetest crab for red lobster that we can find. [ male announcer ] hurry in to red lobster's crabfest! the only time of year you can savor 5 succulent crab entrees, all under 20 dollars. like a half-pound of tender snow crab paired with savory grilled shrimp, just 12.99. or our hearty crab and roasted garlic seafood bake. [ forsythe ] if i wouldn't put it on my table at home, i wouldn't bring it in. my name's jon forsythe, and i sea food differently. my name's jon forsythe,
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one is for a clean, wedomestic energy future that puts us in control. our abundant natural gas is already saving us money, producing cleaner electricity, putting us to work here in america and supporting wind and solar. though all energy development comes with some risk, we're committed to safely and responsibly producing natural gas. it's not a dream. america's natural gas... putting us in control of our energy future, now. so i brought it to mike at meineke. we gave her car a free road handling check. i like free. free is good. my money. my choice. my meineke. we're back with tonight's outer circle and we go to venice tonight, where nearly three
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quarters of the sitcy is under water after being hit by storms and flooding. reuters reports flooding reached five feet. that's the sixth highest level in 140 years. i asked atika shubert how they're fairing. >> well, erin, the canals of venice make it one of the most romantic cities in the world, but also one of the wettest. take a look at these pictures. about 70% of the city is reportedly under water after it was battered by storms and the water levels rose by more than five feet more than normal. in fact, tourists were seen literally swimming in some of the city's most famous piazzas and wooden walkways had to be built to help get around the city. and unfortunately, it's not just a problem of rainfall, the city is actually sinking by about two millimeters a year. and it's become such a chronic problem that locals have a special for it. aqua alta, which means high water, erin. and now, let's check in with
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and now our fifth story outfront. when planes come in to jfk, they fly over a community we saw desperate for help. >> milk, juices, cookies. there will always be a clothes drive. >> each day, the line outside the thriftway in far rockaway forms early. >> there are elderly who cannot leave their homes. if you can get one to them, i would appreciate it. >> people here wait for hours. not for gas, but for food, water and clothing. a wait that can sometimes be in vain. >> we've been out here for going on three hours now, waiting for this truck that's supposed to have been coming here today at 11:00. >> home to 120,000 people, the peninsula is struggling as thousands are still without power including stores, restaurants and banks. for those who live in a high-rise like this one, they have to walk up 20 flights of stairs.
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more than half the population lives below the poverty line and most are just trying to get by. william samson waited more than three hours with his grandmother to get food for seven people. >> what are things you wish were different right now? >> i wish for everybody to come together, help each other out, bring supplies you're not needing to give to other people, help the disabled, help the elderly, just help anybody. come out and help. >> with no power, it isn't safe to go out after dark but william says even the gangs have called a truce. >> they all called a truce. theyre all actually helping out other people because there's nothing bad you can do in a storm right now. it's already bad as is, so might as well just call a truce, come together, help out. >> alene comes here five days a week to get supplies for her three grandchildren. they're all in wheelchairs with muscular dystrophy. >> my grandkids haven't been home yet because they're all in wheelchairs and they can't come home because we have no lights.
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since the storm. we have no one to help us. >> the task is daunting. many small groups are cobbling together help, like this medical truck from kansas. people like nia garson is here to help distribute up to 10,000 meals a day donated by a local food company and the red cross. her energy seems bottomless and she has a reason. >> you never know. it could always be you. you know? you just give back. it could be anybody. >> the people in the rockaway peninsula are a close-knit community. local churches are really central to the communities there. many churches were destroyed like st. john's baptist church and it's hard because of the separation of church and state. fema isn't allowed to help the churches and they're the bedrock of where people are turning for help. congressman gregory meeks was baptized at that church and i asked him and pastor j.d. williams how long it's going to take the community to recover. >> it's going to be a long time.
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this is a symbol of what it is. we are here at st. john's baptist church and it's going to take this church, which is an institution in the community, a long time to get itself back on its feet. it was devastated by this storm. you just look inside and you'll see complete destruction. it's going to take months upon months upon months to get it back together again. >> pastor, this is the largest church here on the peninsula. >> on the peninsula. and we have 15 employees, we did. we have a day care, ministry. the church is open seven days a week, during the week days from monday to friday from 6:00 until 6:00. and now these employees of our church are without a job. the bottom has been completely destroyed. six feet of water destroyed -- >> this bus, right, this is your bus.
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it went all the way up into the actual bus? >> the van, the air condition system is gone. the boiler system is gone. everything that's in the church on the lower level was under six feet of water. >> and the problem is, religious institution in rockaway is -- for some towns it may be the public school system. we rally around institutions. virtually every church on this peninsula has similar damage. i have toured this peninsula yesterday going from religious institutions to religious institution. they all have this kind of destruction. the community can't move on until we can repair our churches. >> what will you do then? >> a couple days a mother came by the church. she wanted food. we had food here. and she said, pastor, can i just lay on the floor?
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i have a roof over my head. i said, well, it's cold here. she said, i don't have a home. and that really touched me. and this is not just an isolated case. these are people like that there are desperate. >> if you had to say what you need the most, to have it not feel abandoned, not feel overlooked. what do you need? >> right now, we don't need any more food or water, per se. that's an abundant flow. we need now people to come in the community disaster relief people to give directions. we need someone to find our parishioners. we need finances for the people. not only for the churches, but for the people. if there's jobs available for cleanup, we need to know where that is so we can direct some of the people in the neighborhood to these areas where they may possibly get some temporary
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employment. we need help. outfront next, a young man i met in the rockaways with a plan. [ male announcer ] citi turns 200 this year. in that time there've been some good days. and some difficult ones. but, through it all, we've persevered, supporting some of the biggest ideas in modern history. so why should our anniversary matter to you? because for 200 years, we've been helping ideas move from ambition to achievement.
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and the next great idea could be yours. ♪ bp has paid overthe people of bp twenty-threeitment to the gulf. billion dollars to help those affected and to cover cleanup costs. today, the beaches and gulf are open, and many areas are reporting their best tourism seasons in years. and bp's also committed to america. we support nearly 250,000 jobs and invest more here than anywhere else. we're working to fuel america for generations to come. our commitment has never been stronger.
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today in the hard hit area
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of the rockaways, we met andrew samson. he's 17 and was helping his grandmother get supplies. during our conversation he talked a lot about the gangs that have taken ahold of his community and i asked him if he joined one. >> i'm in no gang. i'm a good boy. >> he has a good plan and we discussed that plan today. >> i'm planning to go in the marines first for computer analysis but yeah, after the military, i do my 20 years, i'm going straight into itt tech for more advanced computer technology. >> you're planning for the military and what's after the military. >> yeah. >> what made you decide to go into the military? >> i see a lot of heroes out there doing amazing stuff for the country, so i want to be one of those heroes and do something good for the country. i want to be known out there as a hero. i want to be big out there. >> amidst the loss aar